Crying spells

I met a girl in early May. We started dating 2 weeks ago and 1 week ago I fully tapered off/then quit cold turkey from my psychiatric medications.

The withdrawal symptoms are described in a recent post, but in short, that week was physically AWFUL. Still, I get little heart flutters and am slow to stand up. The nausea has mostly died down and the migraines are gone (thankfully).

The new symptom is the crying spells. I saw an old picture of my sister’s elementary soccer team posted on Facebook and bawled for hours last night. My sister is alive and well and living with my parents, but just seeing her little baby face in that picture still brings sad, desperate tears.

Why? I couldn’t figure it out with the timing because I’m no where near PMS and the physical withdrawal ended last week. So I googled it. It’s apparently super normal for people (major depression and bipolar 2 patients alike) to experience crying spells lasting for hours and suicidal idealization after withdrawing from the same anti-depressants and antipsychotics that I did.

So the fact that I’ve spent about 6 combined hours between last night and tonight crying over my baby sister’s elementary soccer photo is justified.

Do I want to tell my new girl about the crying spells? No, mostly from shame and a little from worry. Bipolar 2 keeps me from talking about it because I’m either stuck worrying that my loved ones will instantly think my crying spells or low thoughts mean I’m suicidal, and I don’t want to worry them. Or, that I don’t have a good enough reason to be sad, so I feel ashamed of my puffy eyes and scratchy throat.

My new girl’s been through hell and back with her physical disease and even though she knows about my Bipolar and tells me I have every right to feel pain and sadness and struggle on some days, I still feel like I don’t have a good enough reason to be crying compared to everything she’s been through and the way she handles all of it. And what I’m describing is textbook for how a lot of depressive/Bipolar people feel about their disorders, I know this. I know I should be able to feel all of these intense emotions (now more so since coming off the medications) and be open with loved ones, especially my girlfriend, about this, but I’m still ashamed of it. I want to feel all the emotions, just not the sad-for-no-reason ones? I know that’s not how it works.

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Withdrawal

So, I’m going through withdrawal from anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at the moment. It’s awwwwwwful. I’m nauseous/vomiting, dizzy, tired, sore, shivering then burning up, irritable, and most of all, I have the worst headache on Earth. One that’s so bad I’m considering if I’m experiencing mini migraines.

I’ve gone officially 2 nights and almost 2 full days without taking any Seroquel or Lexapro and the side effects are already better now than they were the first day. I’m hoping (and after reading almost every Seroquel/Lexapro 1st page Google review withdrawal story) I’m expecting these nightmare days to be over within this week. I was weening myself off 75 mg of Seroquel and 10 mg of Lexapro. I was weening myself off both over the last few weeks until 2 nights ago when I was finally down to 5 mg of Lexapro and about 20 mg of Seroquel when I decided to quit cold turkey.

At the time of quitting cold turkey I just figured withdrawal wouldn’t be tooooo bad because I’ve already walked myself off both drugs (only ever one not both) at different times and though I had headaches or nausea, it was never this unmanageable. Lexapro withdrawal is kind of a godsend because it’s just this out-of-body floating high that fluctuates throughout the day. The Seroquel withdrawal is the bloodiest beast. Seroquel is the one giving me these killer headaches and nausea and cold sweats followed by heat flashes that turn into me running to go puke every other hour (again, much better than even a day ago). Finally followed by these mini migraines where I can’t stand light or noise and my brain feels a little too swollen to be resting instead my skull and I can’t sleep without waking up with neck or back pain (elbow and knee pain is most likely from the rain outside and the cramps are from my period) and I just feel like I can’t get anything done when I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO this week because I’ve only got 10 days left in this place before I move out.

And maybe a little stress thrown in on top. GAHHHHHHH I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate this pain. I hate hate hate how terrible these drugs are and I can’t believe and am so frustrated that they exist to help someone if they felt that terrible to be on and are this impossible to stop taking. It’s so tempting to take a mini dose just to lessen the withdrawal, but I don’t think it would. Plus, I don’t ever want either of those back in my system ever again.

I found a holistic mental health doctor who’s got me set up on a supplement schedule that I will hopefully not have to take for the rest of my life and even with taking them now, DON’T GIVE ME WITHDRAWAL and are not harmful to my system down the road or like right now.

I’m so angry at the mental health world for those terrible medications being the first option given when they are so painful. Why aren’t those the last possible option they give us to try? I’m done, so done, and so ready to be done with this pain.

I feel it

like a fire. I am going to start walking myself off the antipsychotics starting tonight. Then just stay with the antidepressant for a bit. Then schedule a doctors appointment for soon, then just get on antidepressants then be okay with just those. No more psychiatrists, just general doctors.

I hate the meds. I want to feel everything again. Its kind of terrifying, but it’s more terrifying to enter into another relationship with a clouded mind and barely any emotions. I feel everything so much more grandly when I’m not on meds.

Honestly, with still questioning my sexuality and if I really ever liked men at all, I want to feel it all with a woman, nothing held back or muted.

So I’m still terrified this will backfire on me, but we’re going to try it. Maybe I can function just fine without the heavy duty meds…

New year

January 7, 2018

I had to post in this moment because it feels like a mini triumph of self-acceptance.

I’m getting good at analyzing my moods. Like the feeling of ants beneath my skin versus actual muscle spasms. Or being lazy and not leaving my apartment all weekend versus a depressive episode and the feeling of being trapped in my mind, or even better, a panic attack where I literally cannot leave my apartment.

I can’t tell yet if the new med is working. My doctor started me on an antidepressant in addition to a mood stabilizer. He said the antidepressant should help with the extreme anxiety I’ve been having. High hopes, man, high hopes.


It’s freezing rain outside, so my only goal today is to make it to the gas station in an hour or so, and to finish paperwork.

Happy new year, back to school, and better mind!

Extra Instagram

December 30, 2017

Alright. So, I finally made an extra email for an extra Instagram account. With that said, I may also still make a Twitter from the extra email account.

I joke on here about my mania side wanting to be famous for my writing, but I feel the need to emphasize that’s not the purpose of all these accounts. I don’t keep daily written journals by my beside and inconsistent blog posts when I’m overwhelmed, and hundreds of iPhone notes, and pictures saved from Snapchat with captions of the places and feelings that went with them at the time just because I want someone to like it. I keep everything documented in all forms and compartments of my life because I know without writing it down, I will probably (98% sure I will) forget it. Depression consumes a majority of my days, and even when I’m me I still have a poor memory. Blame it on lifelong bipolar or antipsychotics or anxiety or whatever you’d like. Regardless, I have a poor memory, and I hate that quality about myself.

I love rereading journals from college and on (I threw away all journals from middle-high school, though I desperately wish I didn’t). Every little day or crush that I thought I would remember forever has to be jogged back, but it’s a welcome thought to review all my previous stresses or obsessions or frustrations with a different mind. It’s comforting to know those experiences weren’t lost or forgotten. That each little day mattered.

And I love getting the words out of my mind. Thoughts that won’t leave me alone do so once I put them in words on a page or screen.

So, I now have just one hardcopy journal that sits on my nightstand. I have one blog that I try to be completely honest on, and in extreme situations have made those extra honest posts into private status because they’re just kind of too awful for another human to read. I have two Instagram accounts, but only one of which I actually post about my bipolar and bisexuality and general tendency to be a complete asshole; on the other, I try and convince the world I am a high functioning heterosexual adult foodie without any sexual partners or self-destructive tendencies…

Maybe I’ll get a Twitter, or maybe I’ll put all extra effort into the Instagram to make sure all little iPhone note posts or blog entries get transferred directly to that account.

I think the most exciting thing about the extra Instagram account is that it’s public and honest. I can talk about anything on there and anyone can read or like or follow me and it’s all just out there. It reminds me of being a nude model in college and that surrender of control and worry about other’s opinions or judgements. I would undress, keep my eyes open, and settle into a position for 3 solid hours. That job taught me to let go of my physical insecurities and be vulnerable. Sometimes, the vulnerability scares me more than the fear of failure.

 

The unmedicated single

October 29, 2017

I think I’m going to break up with her. Its maybe not an actual breakup because we’ve only actually been dating since August so I’ll say that I don’t want to date her anymore?

I just texted my best friend today that I was thinking of breaking things off with N and Liz was shocked. N is the first person I’ve dated in a few years. She’s been a big milestone in my life since we met in May, so why break it off?

Because I don’t feel anything for her anymore.

And this always fucking happens. Always, the feelings just get shut off like my heart left the room and turned off the light. Out of nowhere, I don’t feel a single thing for her now.

And she did nothing wrong. Nothing about her is wrong.

And the smallest part of me wants to insert “me” into that sentence beside her and say that maybe nothing’s wrong with me either, but that’s not true. I’m the one who chose to stop taking my medication. I’m the one who has the bipolar and has the experience dating with bipolar and knows this is just how my moods affect my relationships. Boys or girl, apparently, everything still turns out the same.

In December 2016, I decided to take a break from dating (for the first time in 6 years). Before December, my dating patterns had gone steadily downhill. I’ve never been a longterm partner, with my longest relationship lasting exactly 4 months. Every time, even before the diagnosis, it would be the same. We’d date, sleep together, become exclusive, then I would have to break it off. Mostly, they got angry, like I’d teased them. Every time it was confusing for me. I would immediately look for another person thinking maybe the last one wasn’t interesting enough, maybe we rushed sex, maybe so many other excuses.

It’s just a weird emptiness to feel so much and want a future with someone, then to roll over the next morning, or to be holding hands during a scary movie and look up at them, or be mid kiss with her tongue against my lips and then feel…nothing.

I don’t care if I end up alone, mostly because I don’t care about anything at the moment. I’ll finish grading papers today and make myself dinner in two hours. I’ll wake up early to walk tomorrow morning, and go running with the women’s group tomorrow night. I will follow my routine because it takes no emotion, no motivation from me to do so. Also, none of it will bring me happiness. Waking up to her texts will not make me care.

Breaking up with her won’t relieve this mood, but I owe her a lot, especially honesty. That doesn’t mean she’ll understand, or won’t look for other excuses like our age gap or the distance or my recent coming out to be the real reasons. They’re not, though those reasons are her insecurities, they’re not it. Maybe I’ve got this wrong and deep down I don’t believe we’re going to last anyway so it’s easier to break it off now, but 97% of me thinks it’s the bipolar.

Regardless, I don’t think I was single and unmedicated for long enough. Going back to casual with all genders feels like what I should do for now, with my main focus on moving.

I accept

October 19, 2017

Living with bipolar requires patience and a lot of acceptance.

I hate antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medication. I hate the empty, zombie-like feeling. I hate the way it hurts my head. I hate how all the blood tests. I hate that it knocks me out so hard at night that I struggle to wake up for work the next morning. I hate that it might be permanently damaging my brain, but it’s still my only choice. I hate hate hate the meds.

So I’m not currently on medication.

For a few giddy days, as I transition off my dosage, I always have a moment where I think, “I feel so good with less of this shit in my body. I must not really have bipolar. If it gets bad again, I’ll just ask my general doctor for antidepressants…” and so on. Like, I can totally just be normal and pretend I don’t have a major mental illness.

I’m fully aware I might need to return to medication in the future.

For now, I am high functioning enough that I can manage my symptoms without medication. However, I watch my diet (I’m 120 lb., 5’8″ so it’s definitely not about weight loss) to make sure I’m eating healthy and regularly. I have a week night routine that I follow, no excuses, or sitting down after work or else I won’t go. I’m involved in multiple group activities that are naturally amazing at checking up on me if I miss even one night, which is necessary motivation to always go, no excuses. And my sleeping pattern is consistent, even on weekends, always at least 7 hours.

It can be maddening to be so tightly wound into a schedule I don’t want to break. However, it’s equally as maddening to be on the medication. I’ve made the choice, and because I have the ability to, not take daily medication, and manage my symptoms through my own methods instead. I had a falling out with my last psychologist, and intend to move soon, so I’ve put the counselor search on the back burner for a bit, but will eventually need one within the next few months, just for check-ins.

My antipsychotics weren’t antidepressants, they weren’t taken to improve my mood. My medication simply evened out some of my depressive episodes so they weren’t that bad, but they were still present in my life. With that said, I don’t feel happy to not be taking my meds because I wasn’t happy while taking them.

I accept that I might someday have to start taking my medication again. I accept that I have bipolar and it’s extremely serious and important that I take care of myself and am careful of my actions.

I accept all of it.

Seroquel

October 3, 2017

I’m transitioning off meds again. I feel like they’re frying my brain. Constant headaches, empty feelings that won’t go away, the zombie feeling that’s making it difficult to wake up in the morning. I haven’t had any contact with my psychiatrist. I plan to walk myself off Seroquel then schedule an appt. with my general doctor for anti-depressants.

Antipsychotics aren’t working. It’d be easier just to get my meds through my gen. doctor anyway.